Concrete poetry is poetry in which the poet's message is communicated graphically through patterns of letters, phrases, or symbols rather than through the meaning of words in conventional arrangement. The term was coined by American poet John Cage in 1952.
Cage was an influential figure in both modern music and contemporary poetry. He invented the instrument the prepared piano and he is best known for his involvement with the avant-garde art movement Fluxus. In 1952, he wrote a piece called "4'33" - no sound except what is produced by the performer themselves - asking musicians to play any note for one minute and thirty-three seconds then stop. He used this idea as a form of protest against the increasing commercialism of music and wanted to demonstrate that even though there was no actual music being played, it could still be enjoyable.
Since its introduction, concrete poetry has been used as a method of expression in many different disciplines including music, visual arts, film, and performance. Its main purpose is to present messages in a direct and effective way that doesn't rely on interpretation by the reader/listener/viewer.
There are two main types of concrete poetry: abstract and visual. Abstract poetry uses elements such as punctuation, grammar, and syntax to create images and metaphors within the text.
Concrete poetry, also known as shape poetry, is a genre of poetry that employs some form of visual display to increase the poem's impact on the reader. While the words, writing style, and literary techniques all have an influence on the content of the poem, the physical shape of the poem is as important. The term "concrete" was originally coined by Canadian poet Leonard Cohen who used it in reference to his own work in 1967.
Concrete poetry is not to be confused with concrete art or concrete sculpture. Although both genres use concrete materials they are not identical. Concrete poetry is usually limited to 25 lines including the title while concrete art can extend to many more pages. Concrete sculptures can range in size from small models for parks to large-scale works such as public art installations.
In addition to Cohen, other well-known concrete poets include Barbara Guest, John Joslin, James Laughlin, Robert Mangold, George Stanley, and Lyn Hejinian. These are just a few of the many great poets who have worked in this format; there are many more artists who work in this medium but don't consider themselves poets.
One major difference between concrete poetry and other genres of poetry is that concrete poets often create their works by hand using wood type, lead pencils, pens, and markers. Other forms of poetry can also be created in a similar fashion but concrete poets focus on these elements specifically.
Concrete poetry frequently arrange words to form an image. They may also experiment with the physical look of a poem by changing capitalization and punctuation, breaking words and sentences in unexpected places, spreading words widely across the page, and depending on white space to help express meaning and beauty. These are just some of many different techniques used by concrete poets.
The early moderns in Europe and America created many concrete poems. Some famous examples include John Milton's Areopagitica (1644) which argues for free speech Robert Frost's Stawberry Junction (1924), which uses language to describe scenes from rural life William Carlos Williams' The Red Wheelbarrow (1923) which consists only of one word (red) Joseph Cornell's Dream Book (1943-1950) which is a collection of his own photographs
These days, many artists use computer programs to create concrete poems. One popular program is called Wordsworthyews and it allows users to type text that will be converted into images randomly generated by the program. Other programs allow users to draw their own pictures which will then be turned into poems when printed out.
Many concrete poets believe that the art form can be used to bring attention to social issues such as war, racism, and poverty.
1st of 3 entries 1: identifying an actual object or a category of things Although the word "poem" is concrete, poetry is abstract. 2: a solid mass generated by the union of particles 3a: marked by or pertaining to direct acquaintance with genuine items or happenings
Source: The Random House Dictionary of English Language.
Concrete Literature is a term used by literary critics to describe works that are based on real events or people. The concept emerged in the late 19th century among poets who were dissatisfied with the traditional epic and lyrical modes of poetry. They felt that these forms were not flexible enough to express modern ideas and feelings, so they developed their own new styles of writing, some of which have become known as concrete poems.
Concrete poetry is poetry that uses visual elements in addition to conventional poetic forms such as lines and stanzas. It is one of the most recent developments in poetry, having its roots in the late nineteenth century. Today it is practiced by many different artists using many different techniques; for example, some carve wooden blocks with words or images carved into them, others write down poems as they think of them, still others use computer software to generate random sequences of letters or shapes that may be read like poems.
The first true concrete poet was Wilfred Owen, who fought in the First World War.
At first, concrete poetry appear illegible. They appear to isolate you from the sentiments elicited by the words. They force you to examine the poetry in complete stillness. This may be eye-catching, strange, unsettling, and even unpleasant. But it's important not to let yourself be distracted by these effects; instead, use them as stimuli for thinking about the language of poetry and its relationship to the world.
Concrete poetry is not writing that aims to be understood immediately, but rather writing that aims to make an impact over time. It is meant to be read slowly and carefully, like a poem. Some readers find this type of writing frustrating at first, but once they start reading more abstract poems, they too begin to enjoy the challenge of trying to understand the message behind the image or object used as input.
In addition to being difficult to understand, concrete poems can also be difficult to create. There are no rules for making them work well together or expressing themselves through imagery. You have to know what they want to say before you start typing/drawing/sculpting, and then they must be able to tell it through you rather than simply giving up information. Concrete poets call this "guiding a line of action," which means knowing where you want your reader to go and taking steps to get them there.